The Gist


While some fans are excited to get local content with their idols, a lot of Filipinos can't help but feel neglected and unattended with all of this flashy marketing.

/ 22 January 2021

A big part of marketing has a lot to do with endorsements and ambassadorship. For years, one of the most successful formulas in the industry has been to partner up and make use of celebrities’ and influencers’ wide platform and reach, in order to gain more awareness and traction towards a brand.

In the Philippines, this is even more apparent as almost every commercial or billboard has the face of a popular local artist. Recently, more and more promotions have been dabbling into the rising popularity of Korean stars across the country, with an increasing amount of billboards and commercials highlighting some of South Korea’s brightest K-Drama and K-Pop personalities.

Two of the most recent announcements that have received mixed reactions from network users are from the two biggest telecommunication networks in the country themselves: Globe Telecom and Smart Communications.

Globe revealed a partnership with BLACKPINK for their virtual concert “The Show” last year, while Smart recently named BTS their newest ambassador. And though a lot of fans are excited to get Philippine-specific content from their favorite groups—and arguably the two biggest acts right now in K-Pop—the positive reactions can’t deny that there’s a growing frustration among the networks’ loyal users.

The most noticeable collective pain point of users that have raised their concerns online circles in on one issue: poor service.

More specifically, enduring poor services in a time where we’re all heavily reliant on internet connections, and seeing service providers allot millions of their budget to something else, without addressing the core problem of their product.

To a lot of users, the efforts of these networks to promote their brands in the flashiest and most viral-worthy way is a big slap on the face. This is considering that they’ve been experiencing so many connectivity issues throughout the years without the brands seeming to dedicate the same attention to fix the problem for the pool of users they already have.

A similar situation to this is that incident between Liza Soberano, PLDT, and Converge last year, where the actress was quickly serviced by the two networks to earn some good publicity, all the while failing to service millions of their clients with the same concern. This is yet again another example of internet providers focusing more on flashy promotions and loud marketing, without recognizing the need to invest just as much to improve their technologies and services.

Of course, it’s not at all a bad thing to sign partnerships with global stars to better promote one’s services, especially in such a highly competitive industry such as telecommunications where a brand is labelled as “the biggest” based on the number of users they have. But this commitment to be “the biggest” and “the best” shouldn’t stop in merely acquiring new users, or upgrading old ones. After all, the best and most effective way to promote a product is to actually have good reviews from your current users, and let the good news organically spread through enthusiastic word of mouth.

If these networks are already getting millions of users with bad service and good marketing, what more when they finally commit to having great service, and even better organic marketing?